Have you ever thought about how to feed yourself? By this time in your life that comes as naturally to you as breathing, however, this is a skill that you were taught at some point. Teaching babies to self-feed is vital for healthy development. At around 8 months is when an infant will initially start to show interest in self-feeding. They may start grasping at foods and attempt to use the pincer grasp (pinching an object between their index finger and thumb) to do so. There will never be a catch-all solution for teaching babies to self-feed, but we do have a few great pointers for you.
- The most important thing to do is pick the right food. Bananas, peaches, avocados, and sweet potato are great, naturally soft foods, that are easy and safe to feed baby once pureed, these are also very high in nutrients. You’ll want to have baby learn to self-feed with products she has expressed interest in. You’re only setting them up for success when you do this.
- Once the food is ready and prepared it is time to introduce the spoon. Olababy has developed an award winning and mom-trusted Olababy Training Spoon which is the perfect utensil to teach your baby to self-feed. Paired with the Feeding Spoon, transition from feeding to self-feeding is seamless. Put the spoon in their hand and lead by example. Show them what good eating habits look like, “Monkey see, monkey do.” Keep this in mind and your little monkey will be feeding themselves in no time.
- Last but not least, encourage and practice. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your baby (unless a self-feeding prodigy) will not learn to self-feed overnight. Embrace the mess, the laughter, the frustration, and enjoy the pride you will feel when your baby eats an entire meal by themselves. Also, allow mistakes to happen, otherwise they will never learn the best way to feed-themselves. Make sure to bring pom-poms and a bib because you’re going to be one messy cheerleader.
While these steps are in no way laws of the land, they can be used as a helpful reference when you embark on the hilarious, chaotic, and beautiful journey that is teaching your baby to self-feed. With the right food, prepared properly, and with the correct utensils you can teach your baby to feed themselves with ease. Together with unconditional encouragement and consistent practice, your baby will self-feed as naturally as they breathe.